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Sports Tank, the funding event for startups, is open for applications

Have a great sports tech idea? There’s an event coming up that could reward your hard work. It’s called Sports Tank, in honor of Shark Tank (aka the Dragon’s Den across the pond), and focuses on sports-related businesses. The founders of the best startups pitch ideas in front of a group of investors and an advisory panel with the aim of gaining support for their companies.

The second annual TPG Sports Group Sports Tank will take place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on April 1 2016, but the possible rewards for the winners are no joke. Even getting selected is a boon: TPG will pick 10 from the pool of applicant companies, plus one from the university application pool. These 11 finalists will get an all-expenses paid trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, to present their companies and plans for the future of sports.

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“By providing travel expenses, our goal is to afford more opportunities to entrepreneurs as well as bring the very best ideas and technology to Charlotte for Sports Tank,” said Charlie Wend, Vice President of TPG Sports Group.

Company founders get five minutes on stage to present their ideas to a group of five investors, and ten minutes to answer questions and seal the deal for funding or other support to boost their company’s growth.

Investors and founders negotiate their deals on stage where a sports advisory panel will accompany the five-investor panel. The advisory panel includes Pete Philo, Director of International Scouting for the Indiana Pacers (and President of TPG); Rich Sheubrooks, former exec for both the NBA and Nike; Megan Hughes, VP of Client Services at Genesco Sports Enterprises; and Chrystal Rowe, Director of Ticketing for the Carolina Panthers, with more to come. The advisors will lend their expertise and opinions to the dialogue, offering feedback to both sides of the table, the investors, and the presenting companies.

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The inaugural Sports Tank last year saw fourteen entrepreneurs present plans. An app for stadium seat food delivery, Seat Side Service, and G-Board, a customizable coaching tools site for things like dry-erase boards and playbooks, are among the companies that secured funding at the event.

Those interested in applying can find the forms online at TPG’s website. Applications are due by March 1 for both the standard and university competitions.